“Curb your anger; restrain your wrath…” The way to do this is to oppose the self and, when it wants to complain about something, give thanks instead.
Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
Curb Your Anger with Gratitude
Jesus was asked, “O Spirit of God, what is the most tremendous and most difficult thing in this world and the next?”
“The wrath of God,” he answered.
“What can save us from it?” they asked.
“Curb your anger; restrain your wrath,” he replied.
The way to do this is to oppose the self and, when it wants to complain about something, give thanks instead. Exaggerate it so much that love is generated within you, for to give false thanks is to seek love from God.
So says our great master [Muhammad]: to complain of a creature is to complain of the Creator. He has also said that enmity and anger are hidden within you, from you, like fire. When you see a spark leap out of this fire, put it out right away, so that it may return to non-existence from whence it came. If you help it along with the match of a word of recrimination or retort, it will find a way to come again out of non-existence and only with difficulty will you be able to send it back.
Repel your enemy with something better, so that you may vanquish him: your enemy is not flesh and bone, it is his evil thought. When that is repelled from you by means of abundance of gratitude, it will be repelled from him also. This occurs naturally; as the saying goes, “The human being is a slave to beneficence.”
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, born on September 30, 1207, and known as Mawlānā or simply as Rumi in the Western world, was an extraordinary poet, philosopher, and Sufi mystic. He was a prominent figure in the Islamic world, born in the region of present-day Afghanistan, then within the greater Persian Empire, and later settled in Konya, present-day Turkey. Rumi's passionate love for humanity and his deep spiritual insights transcended geographical, linguistic, and cultural barriers, making his poetry and teachings resonate not only within the Islamic world but also with audiences globally.
Rumi's spiritual journey led him to develop a unique approach to Sufism that emphasized love, tolerance, and the pursuit of enlightenment. He created a fusion of traditional Islamic beliefs with mysticism, nurturing a school of thought that flourished in his followers. They established a sect known to the Western world as the 'Whirling Dervishes', a term derived from their mesmerizing practice of whirling as a form of physical meditation. The proper name for this branch is the Mevlevi order, dedicated to preserving and promoting Rumi's teachings.
In addition to being a mystic, Rumi was an accomplished scholar and theologian who left behind an impressive literary legacy. His best-known work, the Mathnawi or Masnavi, is a six-volume poetic epic that explores themes of love, divine mystery, and human connection to the spiritual world. Rumi's poetic style is marked by profound emotion and philosophical depth, weaving metaphors and allegory to create timeless pieces that continue to inspire readers today. Rumi's influence reaches far beyond his time, as his teachings on love, compassion, and unity continue to touch the hearts of millions, transcending barriers of religion, culture, and era.
Fihi ma Fihi
Rumi, Jalaluddin Mevlana. The Rumi Daybook. Translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski, Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2012, p. 321 [Rumi: Fihi ma Fihi: Discourse 68].
Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
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